The third floor of the Swampy Tower, inside of the Alchemy Laboratory.
After occupying the highest standard Alchemy Laboratory alone, Greem had made it his home and hadn't stepped out from it for three days and three nights.
The first day, he hadn't done anything. He had just held the core of the First Grade Molten Giant, which would become the target of his experiment, and turned it round and round for careful examination, allowing the Chip to finish its final molding and design.
Through the powerful see through ability provided by Elementium Vision, he could see every single crystal that formed the entire crystal core, every single thread of crystal, from the direction of where they stretched to the distribution of Earth and Fire Elementium, together with each part's hardness; every single detail, every single node, was stored in his mind without leaving out anything. The gathered information was then turned into groups of data and eventually transformed into a three-dimensional and detailed virtual model.
After finishing with all that, without saying another word, Greem simply laid down on the floor inside the Alchemy Laboratory and went into deep slumber. He only woke up early morning of the next day. He stretched his back and yawned, standing up from the floor.
He washed his face with some fresh water summoned using a magic spell and tidied himself up. When he felt his Spirit had freshened up again, Greem once again stood in front of the Alchemy Station with a solemn expression.
After going through so long a period of preparation and brewing, the design of a brand new golem was deeply engraved in his mind. Today, he would turn them into reality.
He curved the corner of his lips upward a little bit, giving himself encouragement with a brief smile. Gradually, the hesitation and worries in Greem's eyes faded away and were replaced with resolution and confidence.
Without hesitation, Greem waved his hand and activated the Alchemy Station.
A brand new golem with a brand new design concept. In order to exert the power of this double-element core of Earth and Fire to the fullest, the Chip had specially designed a brand new three-dimensional magical array for them. Five Energy Gathering Arrays, three Elementium Strengthening Arrays, two Elementium Switching Arrays, two Energy Force Field Arrays, one Lava Armor Activator, one Summoning Runes Array, one Elementium Life Granting Array, several energy nodes and circuits...
The Beginner Apprentice level clay golem only had seven magical arrays. While the Lightning Giant employed the decentralized approach of a three-dimensional magical array, it only had nine magical arrays on top of the primary core. Yet, for this core of a First Grade Molten Giant, which was only the size of a chicken egg, Greem planned to carve sixteen magical arrays in one go. Not only that, he also needed to connect them together and eventually make them into one massive and compact entity.
Back on Earth in his previous life, he could let the smart computer control and finish such microscopic carving work on the molecular level. However, in this miraculous and mystical world, the only thing Greem could rely on was the guidance and assistance of the Chip, and he had to personally complete all of the tasks himself.
Throughout the entire three hours of the rune carving process, not a single careless mistake or slack behavior was permitted. If the carving of any rune deviated from the original design, even if it was just the distance of a single crystal thread, it would cause significant influence on the finished golem. Yet, if the deviation went beyond the distance of two crystal threads, it meant that the Adept level core he had obtained by risking his life would be destroyed.
In addition to that, during the carving process, he needed to maintain a stable and constant output of his Spirit. If the output was too low, it would affect the circulating efficiency of the Elementium energy and if it was too high, it might poke through the surface of the crystal core and damage the inner core. As for stopping half way during the crafting process, it was a huge taboo. He had to complete the entire process in one go, and had no room for any hesitation.
In order to make the crystal core unleash its full power, it must be matched with sufficient magical arrays. Yet, more magical arrays meant there was little room for mistakes during the crafting process, as any slight mistake would cause the crystal core to be destroyed. Therefore on the Adept Continent, anyone who could carve more than ten magical arrays on top of an Adept level crystal core was regarded as a Master Alchemist. Meanwhile, only a Grandmaster of Alchemy could carve sixteen magical arrays on top of a single core in one go.
Therefore... naturally, the first Adept level golem crafted by Greem was a total failure!
During the carving process, the heat beam controlled by Greem's Spirit had stopped at a spot for an additional 0.7 seconds. It poked through the surface of the crystal core and when the internal core was touched by the heat beam, it instantly exploded and disintegrated.
A crystal core worth more than 4000 magic crystals was destroyed just like that!
With no time to feel upset or regret and no time to sigh with emotion or indulge in sorrow. Greem simply threw away the residues of the broken crystal core in his hand and waved his arm to shut off the Alchemy Station, laid himself on the floor, and sunk into deep slumber once again.
If time were with him, he could have performed this task after becoming an official Adept. At that point, with the help of his Spirit which would have multiplied many times, it would be easier and more relaxed than now.
But time was pressing on him!
The feeling of urgency had forced him to reinforce his overall strength as soon as possible. Yet, trying to challenge a task at the Adept level with the ability of Pseudo-Adept, he faced unimaginable risks. However, he had no alternative but to choose now.
Seven hours later, after freshening his Spirit, Greem stood back up, once again in front of the Alchemy Station bravely.
But too bad, just two hours later, the second crystal core was still a failure.
This time, Greem didn't rush to lay down. He sat on the cold stone floor with his leg folded, took out some food, and ate it quickly. When he finished his meal, he laid flat on the blanket and sank into a deep sleep. Two teardrops rolled off his face silently, but he wasn't aware of that.
Ten hours later, right after his Spirit had been restored to its maximum level, prompted by the Chip, Greem opened his eyes. Inside of his black and crystal clear eyes, there was no hesitation or helplessness, or even any remorse or regret. There was only tenacity and perseverance with no chance of turning back.
After thirteen seconds, Greem once again stood in front of the Alchemy Station.
Perhaps it was because no difficulty was insurmountable if one set his mind to it, or maybe everything would come easy at the right time, the third crystal core was completed just like that!
Greem didn't roar out loudly and he didn't cheer with tears bursting out from his eyes. As calm as ever, Greem carefully placed the crystal core in a safe place. Then he once again laid down on the blanket and went into a deep and sound sleep.
Fifteen hours later, the fourth crystal core was a success too!
Not until the last magical rune was carved, the entire set of three-dimensional lines composed into a perfectly intact and closed magical array, and the Elementium energy absorbed from the air started to flow freely in the magical rings, did Greem's rigid face start to have a slight expression.
He couldn't tell whether he felt joy or heartache and couldn't tell if his mind was filled with pleasure or sorrow. The repeated process of having his Spirit depleted and refilled multiple times had long wearied him.
After cleaning up everything in the Alchemy Laboratory, he shut down the Alchemy Station, walked out from the laboratory, and returned to his room. Upon reaching his room, Greem simply let go of everything and fell into a deep sleep.
He was asleep for a full day and night before he could get rid of the fatigued feeling and escape from a dark nightmare where he kept falling off a cliff into a bottomless abyss. But before he opened his eyes, he was greeted by the delicious aroma of food.
He opened his eyes and saw that a familiar face was bowed over the bed, looking at him. The pretty face displayed confusion and bewilderment, but most of it looked thoughtful. She carried a wooden tray in her hands. A plate of beef fillet dressed with juicy gravy and a few sweet, fluffy white buns could be seen on the tray, along with a plate of assorted fresh fruit.
"Are you hiding something from me?" Mary asked slowly.
Though the man in front of her looked only 16 or 17 years old, he actually possessed a staid and tactful temperament, which even many adults didn't have, and he always had a look of perfect calm, as if he could accomplish any task with ease. Although a man like this could bring confidence and a feeling of dependability to his peers, she just felt that the man had buried his true feelings very deep.
The current exhausted look was rare for the man. Every time he looked like this, it meant that they were facing a tough issue that was beyond the imagination of ordinary people.
What kind of tough issue had forced him to this degree of exhaustion?
Mary was greatly puzzled.
By rights, now was the period they had the most freedom and leisure! Since both of them had become Pseudo-Adepts, many restrictions that had shackled them in the past had vanished like mist and smoke. Even Adept Anderson had been solicitous and become friendlier.
As long as they followed the current path and walked steadily, relying on their innate talent and potential, stepping to the pinnacle of the Pseudo-Adept stage was just a matter of one or two years. At that point, if they tried their luck, they might even have the possibility of becoming noble Adepts who could control their own fates!
When that moment came... it would be when they could always keep each other company, like birds flying and nesting together, and the moment they officially became spouses!
Since everything seemed so beautiful, Mary was greatly puzzled about why Greem was still working so hard. With her knowledge about Greem after spending so much time with him, she was sure that there must be a new crisis of a great magnitude ahead, and it was a crisis that she couldn't sense at all. Otherwise, there was no way this man would work like there was no tomorrow!
Of course, with Mary's temperament, she would straightaway ask anything that came to her mind.
Greem let out a wry smile. He took the meal tray from Mary, staying on his bed, and polished off the foods.
After he finished his meal, his face filled with a bright smile, Greem grabbed Mary's tiny palm and started asking about her training. However, secretly, he quickly told Mary everything through Spiritual Whisper.
Since Mary had noticed something, Greem had no intention of keeping her in dark anymore. He would need her to participate in many things to come, so it was vital to tell her early so that she could mentally prepare.
Initially, after telling her everything he knew at one go, Greem had prepared to use force to prevent Mary from going on a rampage. But unexpectedly, after learning everything through his Spiritual Whisper, Mary, who supposed to blow a fuse, was actually rather calm. She even... even stared at his face with an interesting expression.
Could the Mary in front of him be fake?
Just as Greem started to suspect that he was talking to a dummy, Mary finally chuckled and asked, "You did all this just because of me? They just want to claim my life. Why are you making such a desperate effort?"
Although she was talking about a topic concerning her life, looking at her face, which was melting in smiles, it was as if she wasn't concerned at all.
Did she know exactly what they were facing? Why wasn't she showing any concern over her own life but wandering from the subject and talking about something else?
Greem startled for a brief moment, speechless, and said, "You... because you are my partner!"
Before he could finish his words, a pair of sweet, juicy, and soft lips had locked onto his lips.